Sinopharm’s jab is 86% efficient, and we _could_ have it as early as next month
The Health Ministry reported 421 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 434 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 119,702 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 19 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 6,832.
Egypt could have a covid-19 vaccine next month, National Research Center Director Mohamed Hashem told Al Masry Al Youm. That vaccine is likely to be China’s Sinopharm, which conducted clinical trials in Egypt.
Trials of the Sinopharm vaccine in the UAE have shown a 86% efficacy rate in preventing moderate and severe cases of covid-19 and with no serious safety concerns, according to Bloomberg. The success of the trials has boosted the UAE’s confidence with officials saying the country would resume all economic, touristic, and cultural activities in the next two weeks and that a rollout may be imminent.
Regardless, Egypt is still waiting to ensure covid-19 vaccines’ efficacy before distributing them, including the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot, according to a Health Ministry statement. Minister Hala Zayed and British Ambassador to Egypt Geoffrey Adams discussed yesterday the logistics of bringing the vaccine to Egypt.
Good news for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine: The folks at the Lancet Journal have given the vaccine their seal of approval, affirming that the shot is safe and effective in its peer review of phase three data, the Wall Street Journal reports. AstraZeneca and Oxford last month announced their two-shot vaccine was between 62-90% effective, with a higher efficacy observed when patients were given a half-dose followed by a full dose, rather than two full doses.
‘Meh’ news for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine: They’re still not sure how effective the vaccine is in people aged over 55, nor why its efficacy seems to increase with a smaller initial dose. Still, this is the first jab to be subjected to a full peer review and the warm reception by the Lancet should be interpreted as a positive sign for Egypt, which will rely on it for 30% of its vaccine needs, and indeed much of the developing world. The one cautionary note: The UK, which began rolling out the vaccine on Tuesday, is warning that people with “significant” allergies should not be given the jab after two NHS workers became seriously ill after inoculation, Reuters reports.